Learn about measuring plant elevation changes

The following free online lecture presented by the Strathcona Wilderness Institute (SWI) will be of interest to CVN members and others:

Title: Can community science measure vascular plant elevation changes in Strathcona Park?
Speaker: Steven Hayward
Date: Tuesday September 13, 2022
Time: 7:00 p.m. PDT

This webinar is facilitated by the Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists and is open to the public (see the registration link below).

One aspect of climate change and increasing summer temperatures is the prediction that plants will shift their ranges higher in elevation or northward in latitude to remain in their optimal growing conditions. Community science platforms such as iNaturalist can provide large datasets to researchers and have been used to document flora and fauna in Strathcona Park. Can this dataset be used to track vascular plant elevation changes in Strathcona Provincial Park?

Validation of an R package ‘rgbif’ that provides elevation data based on GPS coordinates and evaluating the current flora dataset of Strathcona Park are necessary first steps to see if answering this research question is possible. Further steps include analyzing this dataset and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of using this approach.

About the speaker

Steven Hayward is a university student who worked for SWI during the summer of 2022.

Registration

“Seating capacity” for the talk is limited, and you need to register in advance. You can check the computer requirements for attendees here.

Register here

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the webinar.

If you are new to Comox Valley Nature, find out more about us here.

Posted in Climate, Ecology, Guest Speakers | Comments Off on Learn about measuring plant elevation changes

Summer botanizing!

From an email by Jocie to the Botany Group on August 30.

On July 22-23 I attended Botany BC (along with some of you) and we had a lot of fun looking at subalpine plants. Here are a few highlights from that. Most of these are from the McKenzie Lake area [click a photo to enlarge it]:

  1. Queen’s cup (Clintonia uniflora). These white lilies contrast beautifully with the deep green leaves.
  1. Marsh violet (Viola palustris). A lovely mauve-coloured violet.
  1. Northern comandra or bastard toadflax (Geocaulon lividum). This is not too common in our area, but there is quite a lot along the shores of McKenzie Lake. Note the small yellow-green blooms.
  1. This creamy coloured slime mold (Ceratiomyxa sp.) was found on an old log on the McKenzie Lake trail.
  1. This slime mold (Lindbladia tubulina) looks like a blob of tar! Near Diver’s Lake.
  1. The admirable bolete (Aureoboletus mirabilis) has a reddish suede-like cap.
  1. Botanists at large: Diver’s Lake area.
  1. Traversing the McKenzie Lake meadow.
Posted in Botany | Comments Off on Summer botanizing!

Learn about Strathcona species of conservation concern

The following free online lecture presented by the Strathcona Wilderness Institute (SWI) will be of interest to CVN members and others:

Title: Species of Conservation Concern in Strathcona Provincial Park
Speaker: Jack Bindernagel
Date: Saturday September 3, 2022
Time: 7:00 p.m. PDT

This webinar is facilitated by the Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists and is open to the public (see the registration link below).

Common Nighthawk (Photo: Jack Bindernagel)

Strathcona Provincial Park occupies a large part of Central Vancouver Island and encompasses a wide variety of ecosystems ranging from above treeline down to low-lying riparian and coastal areas. This diversity in landscapes and vegetation is responsible for the impressive number of species recorded in the park. Due to the park’s large size, many of the ecosystems found within it are comparatively intact. Given the park’s high diversity of habitats and large areas of relatively unmodified terrain, it is not surprising that many species which are globally or locally of conservation concern are found within the park.

This presentation aims to showcase a few of these imperilled species which utilize the habitats found in the park, and explore the significance of the park as it relates to their conservation. Some species discussed will include Donn’s small limestone moss (Seligeria donniana), Black Swift (Cypseloides niger), Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor), oldgrowth speckleberry lichen (Pseudocyphellaria rainierensis), Sticta weigelii (a foliose lichen), Salish daisy (Erigeron salishii), and cliff dwarf-primrose (Douglasia laevigata).

About the speaker

Jack Bindernagel is a student who worked for SWI during the summer of 2022. After his stint at SWI he resumes his studies at the University of Victoria. Jack has also been very active as a volunteer with CVN’s Wetlands Restoration Group, particularly at Courtenay Airpark.

Registration

“Seating capacity” for the talk is limited, and you need to register in advance. You can check the computer requirements for attendees here.

Register here

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the webinar.

If you are new to Comox Valley Nature, find out more about us here.

Posted in Conservation, Guest Speakers | Comments Off on Learn about Strathcona species of conservation concern

2022 CVN Tree of the Year announced!

By Karen Cummins. Updated 2022-07-15 to add link to Kerri Scott’s podcast.

2022 Tree of the Year

Tree #13, a Garry oak located at 3015 Glacier View Rd. in Courtenay, amassed the most votes in the 2022 Tree of the Year event. The nominator was property owner Ruth Barry. It is a beautiful tree that has been lovingly protected and appreciated for a very long time.

The nominator of the winning tree receives a gift bag or basket consisting (mostly) of consumable treats. They also have the privilege of having an original tree painting in their home for the coming year. This year, Ruth will soon be moving to England so she has requested that the loan of the painting go to the nominator of the second place tree. Tree #5 Douglas fir at Kin Beach nominated by Bev Wolsey was second, so Bev will be the custodian of the painting until next year’s contest.

To hear more of the story of this tree, listen to Kerri Scott’s podcast.

Following close behind, in order, were:

  • #5 Douglas fir at Kin Beach
  • #2 Dawn redwood on Pritchard St. in Comox
  • #20 Douglas fir on the bluffs near Connemara in Comox
  • #9 Garry oak on Grieve Rd.
  • In a three-way tie for 6th place were #10 Apple in Courtenay, #32 Lazo Garry oaks, and #27 Garry oak on Ryan Rd.

We have had a lot of positive feedback about the number and diversity of the trees that were nominated this year as well as the pleasure of reading their stories followed by touring to see and appreciate the trees where they live. These are the goals of the event and it is both the people who nominate the trees and the people who tour and vote for their favourite that make it happen.

What we also heard was that it was very difficult to vote in favour of just one tree. All the trees are “winners”! The descriptions of the nominated trees and the tour maps will stay on the CVN website so that the stories can be shared and the trees toured throughout the year.

Our Tree of the Year Committee would be happy to hear any feedback CVN members wish to share to keep improving this event in the future.

For more information:

Posted in Tree of the Year | Comments Off on 2022 CVN Tree of the Year announced!